Friday, August 30, 2013

Fun & Not So Fun

Last week my friend Tracy said they would be going shopping one day this week, and did I want to go?  Oh, YES! I can't tell you what that means to me, still not being able to drive and stuck home all week!  It gave me something to look forward to all week.  She and daughter, Courtney, came by to get me yesterday afternoon.  We took a trip to The Foundry.  I had never been before but had heard of it.  Their motto is "Where lives are shapped by the hand of God."  The Foundry is a Christian rescue mission and recovery center, and they have a superthrift outlet center that is the largest thrift store in Alabama.  Their online site says, "What's the secret to our success?  Quality products, low prices and attentive customer service."   I've been to thrift stores before and usually find them very crowded and rather dirty.  Not this place!  It was very clean, and the workers were very friendly and personable.  You seldom find that in any store any more.  It was really a pleasant shopping experience.  I was in my wheelchair since I can't yet stand for long periods of time, and it was easy to get down the nice wide aisles.  I found the prices to be less than the Alabama Thrift Store, too.  I went straight to the large men's shirts.  Where most of the shirts at the ATS are $2.99 and $3.99 and up, here most of them were $1.99 and $2.99 and up.  I found a few for $.99 and some of *them* were even on sale.  One I got for $.40 and another for $.74!  I got all the bags below, and only paid $2.99 for one shirt.  It was a 5X, so I splurged for that one since it had so much fabric in it.  The rest were $.99 and $1.99.

HOWEVER, tonight as I pulled them all out of the bag to wash, I took a look at the receipt and noticed the first shirt listed was $6.99!!  What???  I couldn't believe that.  I just knew they had to have made a mistake.  There was no way I'd pay that much for any shirt.  I went back through all the tags I'd just thrown into the trash, and sure enough - there was a tag for $6.99!!  And I have no idea which shirt it even was.  So all my careful sleuthing for bargains just went out the window paying that much for one shirt.  When I checked out, I noticed the amount was more than it I thought it was going to be, but just figured I got a few more than I thought I had.  Oh, well.  I'll have to be more careful next time.  Any way, it was fun and I came home with a lot of cotton fabric.  Cutting them up will keep me busy for several evenings.

That was the fun was the not so fun part.  It was my first physical therapy visit.  Those people are so nice at Therapy South.  It was all great right up to the last part where they put the electrodes on my foot and then put this wrap on it.  The wrap got VERY cold and VERY tight.  When he took it off, I could then see what was so uncomfortable.  The little plastic pieces that hook to the electrodes were nearly embedded into the swollen part of my ankle.  I hope next time they can somehow put those little plastic pieces on the outside of the wrap.  I remember when I was going to PT back in November, the cold therapy at the end was just the worst

I told Robert about my knee, and how I really needed it replaced.  He agreed that I better get it done before the end of the year.  He said he if I would work really hard on the foot exercises at home, I could come twice a week rather than 3 times, and that would save enough visits for me to come back after the knee surgery since Medicare only pays for X-number of days of PT in one year.  I'm really hoping I can get this done.  I'll bet the surgery schedules will explode during December with everyone trying to get their surgeries done.  I better get mine scheduled way ahead of time.  Robert is going to give me names of good knee doctors since I forgot to ask my doctor who he would recommend.

And speaking of exercises, I bet get started on mine so I can get to bed.

Night all!!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Some things are easier than others.

Today, for the first time in a long time, I ventured out with my walker and boot into our screened-in porch.  The fresh air felt so good.  The weather has actually been pretty nice this week - little lower humidity.  I sat in my favorite place - my porch swing.  After retiring, I spent most spring and fall mornings out here, because it is just so peaceful.

In previous years, Guy has aways put out hummingbird feeders right at this corner of the porch, and that has been so much fun to watch.  But this year, for some reason, he just didn't want to keep up with them.  I've seen a few, through the kitchen door occasionally, come around that hibiscus plant you can see there at the corner, which at the current time has no blooms on it.

Annie certainly was happy to have me out there.

This morning I was finally able to get a shower and scrub that nasty leg and of mine.  MAN, did that feel good!  When I got out and dried it off, I rolled enough dead skin off that thing, you would have thought someone had crawled into my trash can and died!  And there is still lots to go, but that is for another time.  I lotioned it all up, and let it dry a bit before having to put on the support stocking.  Whew!  That took a good bit of effort - made me break out in a sweat!  But I got it and got all the straps fastened on the boot, and I was ready for the day.

It would sure be a lot easier to just reach for the wheelchair each time I have to get up to do anything.  In some ways it is a lot easier, and certainly a lot faster.  But I'm forcing myself to use the walker or crutches.  I'm trying to figure out what I can use and get the most natural gait with.  Believe it or not, it takes a good bit of concentration to walk as naturally as possible.  I can't put a lot of weight on that foot yet.  I started out with Mom and Dad's old walker.

While it does have wheels on the front, with all the throw rugs we have in the house, you do have to pick it up a lot or the tennis balls on the back roll up the rugs.  I can't seem to get much of a natural gait going with it.  So I asked Guy to get out another walker I had bought Mom - a Rollator.  

This seems to work better, and I can sit on the seat when I'm wearing out - and it doesn't take much!  Wow, I have so little stamina right now.  Discouraging.....

My living room is looking like a physical therapy gym.

I had high hopes of being able to use that rolling knee walker, but my knee just would not tolerate it for long.  With its wide turning radius, it was difficult to maneuver easily in the kitchen.  I hope I can sell it.  The wheelchair is rented, so it will go back soon.  I have a portable wheelchair stored upstairs, that I bought for Mom, but someone either has to push you, or you have to maneuver about using your legs, because the wheels are small.  You can't use your hands to propel yourself.  

I've tried using the crutches a little more now, since getting on my feet.  It seems that they might be the best to use since I seem to have the most natural gait with them.  I just feel a little safer and more stable with the walker. Those crutches also were Mom and Dad's. I knew that keeping all their equipment just might come in handy someday - and I was right!

More Gifts.....

28.  Quiet mornings to sit on the porch and have my devotions.

29.  A sweet soft companion to sit beside me.

30.  Two feet to help me keep my balance when I stand.

31.  Answered prayers.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

FREE! FREE AT LAST - well....almost

Today was my much anticipated day.  I had my orthopedic doctor's appointment at 9:00.  All week I've been dreaming about what it was going to be like out of this cast and in a boot.  And then I would catch myself and say, "No, don't get your hopes up.  It just may not occur.  You have to be prepared in case you come home with a cast."  So it has been a roller coaster week of emotions for me.  As I was sitting in the waiting room, I found myself starting to get anxious.  I checked FB, several times, just to pass the time and try not to think about it.  FINALLY, they called me back.  A man came into to remove the cast.  It is such a weird feeling when that cast comes off.  You feel like your leg is going to fall apart.  The first thing I did was set about trying to remove some of that dead skin and scratch the itch!  He told me "those wipes there are to use on the leg when the cast comes off."  So after he left the room, I set about wiping and wiping.  That didn't remove much dead skin, so I opened another container and sneaked out some gauze.  That was a little rougher, and did a better job. 

You just can't imagine how good it feels to scratch/rub a leg that's been in a cast for 10 weeks!!  Every inch of your skin itches.  I felt around on the bottom of my foot, and the only place that was fairly tender was right in the pad of the heel.  That made me wonder how it was going to feel when I started walking on it. I noticed that the right leg has shrunk, too

You can see how much more swollen one is, too. 

I wonder if there is any hope for this heel. 

It seemed forever before they took me to x-ray.  Shortly after I got back to my room, a lady doctor came in and introduced herself to me - can't remember her name, but she gave me the good news!  It was healing well, and someone would be in shortly to put on my boot.  WOOOO HOOOO!!  It was really happening!!!!  No . more . cast!!!!  I was having such a hard time containing myself, it was really hard to hear anything else she was saying.  I asked her about physical therapy, and she said I wouldn't really need it. She said not to worry about all this dead skin and not to try to take it all off at once, because it could cause an infection. In about a week of showering and applying lotion, it should a come off. 
And then she left!

Hmmmm......wonder what kind of scar this is going to leave.  It looks worse because it still has their purple making pen on it.

 Then Dr. Krauss came in.  He said it was doing well, and I would be in the boot for three weeks.  If at the end of 2, I was doing well, I could go into a tennis shoe.  He told me I should begin PT right away.  I told him what the other doctor had said, and he said, "No, I want you to have PT.  You'll just recover faster if you do."  Then he said, "When you go to PT, make sure they only move your foot up and down, not rolling side to side.  If they start to move to wrongly, you tell them to STOP and call me!"  He was very emphatic about that!  I assured him, I'd follow those directions.  He said to come back to see him in 3 weeks.  I told him that we might be going to Kansas for an extended time, and he said that was OK; I could do PT there.  I was to not walk without the boot for these 3 weeks.  I can shower and sleep without the boot. That will be so freeing to turn over in the night without lugging that cast over the pillow between by knees.  He moved my foot up and down, and pushed here and there.  It was kind of tender along the outside of the foot but he said everything looked good.

Shortly after that, the cast man came in with this big black boot, putting all the many straps together.  He said that I was to wear this white support stocking during the day, putting it on first thing in the morning, to keep the swelling down.  There was an extra sock so I could wear one and wash one.  He then showed me the best way to get the stocking on.  It is hardest to get over the heel.  I was kind of afraid it was going to hurt, but he seemed to put it on so easily.  I've worn support hose before, but they were very heavy and very tight, so maybe these won't be as hard to get on.  He asked me if Dr. Krauss had told me I could not drive.  I told him, "No.  I thought maybe I would be able to drive with my left foot."  He said, "It doesn't matter what foot you use.  If you drive with a boot on and have a car accident, your insurance is no good."  YIKES!  I did not know that!!  Here I was planning to drive to my PT appointments.  Now, that complicated matters.  Well, that's just something I'll have to work out.  He got the boot on and told me I should just go back to the wheelchair here in the office and wait to try it all out when I got home in familiar territory.

I went to the front office to make my appointment and pick up the prescription for PT, and then we took off.  Leisa was nearly as happy for me as I was.  She's been in my position with a broken foot before.

As we started to leave the parking deck, I suddenly remember a very important question I was going to ask Dr. Krauss - if your wife needed to have her knee replaced, who would you send her to?  RATS!  I really wanted to ask him that!  I was just so excited to get rid of the cast, everything else went out the window!  I must remember to ask him when I go back.

As Leisa dropped me off at my house, she said to call her for help getting to PT; she would be happy to help.  I told her that between her and my neighbor, we could probably work it out.  My neighbor, Angie, has repeated told me that she would help get me to PT.  Angie works at a preschool Tuesdays and Thursdays, so I called to ask her what hours would be best for her on Mondays or Wednesdays.  She seemed just tickled to help.  Maybe if Leisa can take me one day, and Angie can take me the other day, then Guy can take me on Fridays.  I have to go 3 times a week for 4 weeks.  I then called Therapy South, where I went before with my foot, and they are going to try to get me started on Friday.  She said she would have to move some around and would let me know.  If I didn't get started Friday, I could start on Monday.  I would like to get as many times in here as possible if we do go to Kansas.  It will all depend on how I get along.

After I got in the house, I got Mom and Dad's walker that I had, and tried my new wings.  It was not all that easy!  I can see that I'll definitely need the assistance of the walker for awhile.  It's fairly tender along the outside of my foot, and that is the part that I'm walking on since I no longer walk on a(flattened) arch. 

The other issue is my knee!  I can't walk with it straightened out, and I found that it was subject to buckle on me at any moment.  If only.....if knee was OK.  Oh, well, I just have to deal with it.  I found I had to resort to my wheelchair while getting supper since I can't stand for very long yet.  But it feels so much more stable standing when I have both feet on the ground!  Just very thankful for this day!

More Gifts....

23.  NO CAST!!!!

24.  Healing bones!

25.  Sweet, sweet friends that messaged me early this morning to let me know they were praying for me.

26.  Dear friends that are so willing to help in any way they can.

27.  Safety and protection over my grandsons during their soccer games.  One of Dylan's teammates, right in front of Dylan, went down going after a ball and suffered a compound fracture of his leg - 2 plates and pins.  Praying for this youngster - and his dad who was sitting right next to Mark.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Little Roads Trips

Yesterday Guy drove me to Tuscaloosa - which is really nice of him since it is his day off, and he makes that drive Monday through Thursday to work there.  One of my favorite quilt stores, Sew Delightful, is there.  They recently moved from where they were to a new location (actually just across the street), and this weekend was their grand reopening.  The old location was broken up into rooms, and this place is all open on one big room.  To tell you the truth, I was a bit disappointed.  I think part of it was the fact that I was in my wheelchair, and I could not get down more than 4 short aisles.  So there were some things that I couldn't even get to to see.  They were terribly nice and offered to get anything for me that I wanted, but it just wasn't quite the same as being able to walk all around by yourself.  In the old location, all the notions and thread were in one spot, and now they are kind of here and there.  I think the inventory is not as large either.  I did pick up some fabric to make the girls some cute little skirts, and they will look cute with some little T-shirts with matching embroidery.  I'm anxious to go back when I'm on my feet and can move through all parts of the shop.  It will probably look totally different to me then.

Before we went to the quilt shop, we went to the Waysider for breakfast.
It is a completely Alabama little hangout that is very popular.  They have good old-fashioned breakfasts.  By the time we got there, I was more than ready to eat.  I actually had the shakes.  I'm used to eating pretty quickly after I get up in the mornings.

After we finished at the quilt shop, we headed to - of course - Dreamland BBQ to eat lunch.  
We can't seem to go to Tuscaloosa without eating there.  We have a Dreamland in downtown Birmingham, but it's just too much trouble to travel there, even though it is closer.  We don't go downtown unless we just have to.

After we got home and rested a bit, we loaded up Annie and headed for Pet Smart to get Annie's nails trimmed.  Boy, they sure grow fast!  We bought a grinder shortly after we got her, but so far we've never been able to hold her still enough to use it.

This morning Guy took off early to go to his favorite store right now - Simmons Sporting Goods in Bessemer.  He bought a pair of pants and a shirt.  He also found some Merrils ridiculously on sale and picked up a pair of them.  When he got home, he was showing me the shoes and noticed that he picked up the wrong size!  Bummer!  Our plans were to go downtown (didn't I just say we don't go there unless we have to?  Oh, well....) to the Pepper Place Farmer's Market.  I've been dying to go back there all summer.  When it first opened this year, I had told the ladies at my favorite jewelry booth (the same one I passed out at from the heat last year), they wouldn't see me the rest of the summer because I was having surgery. 

We stopped by to pick up my sister on the way.  
The sidewalks were not exactly wheelchair friendly, but I made it around where I wanted to go.  It was nice to see my jewelry ladies again.  Needless to say, they have never forgotten me!  Their inventory was down a bit - I suppose it is nearing the end of their season, so I didn't get anything this time.  Plus, I just couldn't get close enough to really take a good look at what they had.  Their booth is up on a curbed area, so I couldn't look at the sides of the booth.  I was kind of looking for a necklace with a little owl on it that matched some earrings I got there.  
Neither Guy nor Colleen could see anything like what I was describing.  So I just saved some money and moved on.  I did find a nice big loaf of sourdough raisin bread that I couldn't resist in the food area, though.

After leaving there, we went straight to Bessemer so Guy could exchange his shoes for the proper size.  That only took a few minutes, and by then it was lunch time.  Well, if you are in Bessemer at meal time, there's really only one place to eat, and that is the Bright Star.  So guess where we ate?  
The coconut pie was heavenly!!

We finished up the day at home, except after supper, we went to grocery store.  I got the fixings for salsa and made it with my Ninja.  That was easy!!  
I probably hit it one too many times, because I like it a little chunkier, but it was good.  Wonder if I'll ever get this onion taste out of my mouth?!

Where has the weekend gone?  They do fly by.  Looking forward to Sunday school and church in the morning!!

More gifts....

19.  Tomatoes from my garden

20.  My dear husband who cleaned out the bottom of my refrigerator tonight.

21.  Only 3 days until my next doctor's appointment - when I might, just might get my cast off!

22.  My dear next door neighbor, Angie, who called me out of the blue to ask how I was doing, that she was at Walmart and could she bring me anything?

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Wednesday Happenings

I woke up this morning at 4:24 and could not go back to sleep.  For some reason, my wheels just began to turn and would not stop.  I hate it when that happens.  I often stir when Guy gets up about 4:30, but usually have no trouble going back to sleep.  But not this morning!  So I got up about 5:30 (2-3 hours earlier than usual) and got my shower and washed my hair.  After breakfast, I started on the laundry, and had 3 loads done by about 11:00.  Now, that's good for me lately!  Of course I had to take a morning nap.  :)  But that's OK.  It seems to be a normal happening for me any more - sit in the recliner - dose off!

It is T-minus 6 days and counting until the next doctor's appointment when I see if the cast goes, and I get my boot.  Hoping, hoping, hoping......  I've been trying to use the knee scooter a little more to build up some strength in my hips, but it is just so uncomfortable on my right knee.  I wish all I had to think about was my foot and getting it going again, but the "cloud of this knee" hangs heavily over my head all the time.  ARGH!

I got three pesky mosquito bites again today - in the house, no less.  And it just flew by me again, and I missed it!!

Last evening for supper I made Pioneer Woman's Simple Perfect Enchiladas and Garlic Lime Cilantro Rice.  It turned out really well, and it was actually better today as warmed leftovers for lunch!  I love it when it turns out like that.

More Gifts....

17.  Dark chocolate!!!

18.  Face-timing with the girls in their new dresses I made for them that just arrived today. They were beaming and told me what other colors they like and what designs they like on shirts. Now I must get busy! :)

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

More Gifts.....

14.  A nice long phone call from my daughter, Jeannine.

15.  Sunshine with green trees and grass I can see though a big window looking into our backyard.

16.  *Little* friends.  Last week I visited at a friend's home, and her 2 year old sat on my lap most of the morning, sharing her blankie with me.  After lunch she fell asleep in my lap.  For 37 years I held newborn babies in the hospital nursery.  I just miss holding babies so much!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Rainy Sunday....

Yesterday we did some more running around.  Guy rotated the tires on his pickup, and then we went to Kohl's.  I love Kohl's.  They have my style and fit of jeans and cropped pants.  I love it when you find a particular brand that just fits.  And it never hurts when they are on sale - a significant sale amount.  And then it is a bonus when you can print another 15%-off coupon!  It took a little effort to wheel down the narrow aisles, into the dressing room and try on numerous pants and tops.  I often vacillate between 2 sizes, and right now, unfortunately, I'm into the larger of the two.  UGH!  I just can't do anything to get this weight off right now.  Well....I could - I could eat like a mouse, but when I get back on my feet, I'll be more motivated.  Anyway, I was able to pick up a few things, and along with my coupon, I saved more than 2 times what I paid, PLUS another $50!  Woo hoo!!

Earlier in the day, while Guy was out, I needed a piece of red fabric. I didnt know for sure which piece of red fabric, but I knew I'd know it when I saw it. That's why I couldn't just wait until he came home and ask him to get it for me.  Honestly, there are very few things I could send Guy into my quilt room and have him actually find it.  There are a few things in there that are organized in such a manner, but not many right now.  I pretty much know where most things are, but couldn't tell someone else.  So I dragged myself up the stairs, along with my grab-it-stick (just in case), down the hallway between bedrooms and into the hallway to the quilt room.  In that quilt room hallway are some pieces of fabric, and ah HA, there was the exact fabric I needed! 

However, the matching thread was still clear at the other end of the room, so I still had to scoot all that way.  Thankfully, when Guy replaced two of the drawers of my thread a few weeks ago when I sent him after some colors, he didn't put them back in the order they were in.  As a result, the drawer with my reds and pinks was in a lower position, and I could actually reach it from the floor!  Otherwise, I would have been up a creek!  I forgot to take a plastic bag with me, so I stuck the red fabric to the leg of my pants, and stuffed 3 spools of thread in my pockets, and scooted off down the hallways. 

During the evening I made another pocket to go on a T-shirt I got some time ago.   I really like the way this one turned out.  Now I'm really ready for some football!!  Roll Tide Roll!!!!!
Isn't that little elephant a cutie?
More gifts....
12.  Church on Sunday.  Love my Sunday school class, teacher (a long-time friend), class members who are such wonderful friends.  Love the worship part of the service - fabulous music, not just professional quality musicians (which they are), but spirit-filled individuals.  Love the preaching - fairly new pastor, but not a new preacher.  He may be young, but his messages are Bible-filled and powerful.

13.  A Sunday afternoon nap.  Enough said!

Friday, August 16, 2013

A Taste of New Orleans

Tonight we went to eat at the Bright Star, a local restaurant that is a favorite of many people. We were not aware until we got there that it was "A Taste of New Orleans" night.
You can see who the guest executive chef was. 
During our meal, he came out into our room and inquired as to how the food was. The lady next to us raved about her turtle soup!  I noticed that she ooed and awed all the time she was eating it. 

Guy had Greek snapper and I had baked Greek chicken. Guy said his was the best he had eaten. Mine was delicious, too. I had enough chicken and baked potato left over to feed both of us tomorrow. For dessert we had the chef's specialty, a mixture of fresh blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and whole pecans in some kind of delicious syrup topped with butter pecan ice cream. 

Just as we were finishing our meal, we were surprised by a jazz trio - stringed bass, banjo, and trumpet. They were taking requests, so I asked for "When the Saints Go Marching In."  That was obviously a favorite of theirs. Click on the link below and listen to them.  Listen also for a very pretty soprano voice in the background that began to harmonize during the song. She was the lady with the turtle soup. I heard her earlier talking with the man she was with something about "the date of her performance" and figured she must be a musician.
It turned out to be a very enjoyable evening.
More Gifts from God
9.  A husband who took me out to breakfast at Cracker Barrel and then ran me around to several places - mailed a package off to the granddaughters, took me to Hancock Fabric so I could get some houndstooth fabric, went for coffee and donuts at the Donut Chef, and helped me get groceries.
10.  My sister, Colleen.  She is 5 years younger than me, and for most of her married life lived far away.  She moved to Birmingham not long after Mom and Dad moved here, and was a HUGE help in sharing the load of caring for them.  Colleen loves the Lord and loves to joke and laugh, and she is a very generous, selfless person who would give you the shirt off her back.  We've enjoyed reconnecting after all these years.
11.  My brother, Carl, was 8 years older than me and went to be with the Lord June 8, 2012.  Carl was a devoted Christian, brother, husband, and father - such a caring, easy going person who also had a wonderful sense of humor.  He was extremely talented with his hands and wood.  He built many of the homes they lived in and a gorgeous sound booth in their church.  Being with Carl just made you feel good!  And I never got to be with him enough.  I miss him dearly!!

1000 Gifts from God

Years ago I started a Gratitude Journal, but unfortunately, I did not keep it up.  Now,  some of my friends have been reading a book, One Thousand Gifts.  I looked at a sample of the book and couldn’t quite get into her style of writing.  But my friends’ lists inspired me to begin again.  I used to think it had to really be something significant to write about, but recently, there are many days just little things come to my mind for which I’m very thankful.  When you’ve been forced off your feet for many weeks, you kind of get a different perspective as you go through your day.  So I’m going to start keeping my list of things that I feel are “Gifts from God.” 

1000 Gifts from God 

1.   My first, and most important, gift from God is His Son Jesus Christ.  Thanks to Godly parents, I accepted Jesus as my Savior at a very young age.  He is my closest and dearest friend.  I could not live a moment without Him at my side. 

2.  My parents have gone on to Heaven, but they left a wonderful Godly heritage.  They taught me from a young age to love the Lord.  Every time the church door was open, we were there, too.  And we drove 9 miles one way to our church.  They taught me how to live and what to value.  I owe SO much to them. 

3.  My husband is a faithful, hardworking best friend.  We went to high school together in a class of 14.  We’ve been through thick and thin together for 45 years.  I hope we can grow old together.


4.  My children are Mark (1971) and Jeannine (1974), and they are the delight of my life.  I’m so proud of both of them.  Mark is an engineer and Jeannine has a degree in social work, but is a stay-at-home mom right now.  Any time either one calls, I drop everything to share in their lives.  I never see or hear enough of them. 

5.  My grandchildren bring so much joy into my life.  Mark has the 2 boys, and Jeannine has the 2 girls.  Dylan (2001) is a tall, dark-haired handsome young man.  He makes straight A’s in school and is a talented soccer player, always playing on teams older than his age.  He was born premature, but did very well at birth.  He gave us a scare at 4 months of age when it was discovered his formamen ovale (soft spot) closed prematurely.  This necessitated some very major surgery on his skull at 6 months of age.  But today, he is just a normal active boy.


      Christian (2003) is a brown-haired sweet young man who makes straight A’s (tested gifted), and is a dynamite soccer player, too.  He was born in Brazil and came to America to stay when he was about 2.  I hate that I missed his baby years.  Chris loves to draw.  He’s such a thoughtful, kind, and helpful young man.

       Maya (2005) is a dark-haired, dark brown-eyed, very petite sweet little girl.  She is smart as a whip.  She’s always been ahead of others her age ever since she first started to babble.  She would rather read a book than watch TV or play with her toys.  She can entertain herself for hours with anything.  She’s quite a little drama queen, too.  J  She loves to take me into their garden via phone face-time and show me all the flowers and vegetables that are growing there.  I think she might have inherited my gene for crafting/sewing.  (I hope!)

      Sofia (2003) is a light brown haired, sea blue-eyed, bundle of energy.  She is a snuggler and loves to sit on Grandma’s lap, though she barely fits anymore.  She struggled early on with something they called sensory integration disorder.  She doesn’t feel things as the usual person does.  She’s been through all kinds of testing, and various treatment modalities of which occupational therapy seemed to help the most.  They have now determined that she is highly ADHD.  She’s very smart, too, and is learning to read. She loves to talk with Grandma on the phone via face-time.

6.  My love for music.  I took piano lessons in the early grade school years, and was the pianist in most of the churches I belonged to from my teens through adulthood.  It is relaxing to be able to just sit and play.  I don’t have a recording-style voice, but I love to sing the hymns I learned as a child and now the contemporary choruses we sing in church.  So often an old hymn will come to my mind as I go about my day. 

7.  My hobbies.  I’ve done about every crafty thing there is to do – tole painting, knitting, crocheting, rug hooking, scrapbooking, cross stitching, ceramics - just about everything except needlepoint. Then one day in 1979, I took a quilting class, and all other crafts fell by the wayside!  I had found my LOVE!!  And I’ve been quilting ever since.  I first learned to do it all by hand, and felt it would be an insult to a piece of fabric to let a machine touch it!  But then all the short-cut machine methods came into being, and I knew I’d never get all that fabric made into quilts doing it by hand, so I converted.  I still love to needle-turn applique by hand, though.  I just think it looks the best.  Since getting a nice combination sewing/embroidery machine, I’ve fallen in love with embroidery, also, and incorporate it in my quilt making.   Below is a quilt I made for the family of a 9-11 victim.  You can read the story here. 911 Quilt

8.  My little Annie (May 2012).  She’s a beautiful small tri-colored rat terrier.  I have papers on her, but never did register her since we had no intention of raising little ones.  I’ve had dogs all my life, but after the one before Annie died, I decided I was done with dogs.  I get too attached, and I didn’t want to go through losing another one.  I was without for 9 years.  Then after retiring, and being home all day, I got the bug.  She’s a very smart little thing and a lot of company.  She loves my lap and is quite jealous of anything that takes my attention away from her for very long – my computer, my sewing machine, etc. 

Monday, August 12, 2013

My Mother's Bible

I was looking through a drawer the other day and found my mother's Bible.  I took it out and gently turned the pages.  I had not done this since she passed away in Sept. 2011.  Oh, what memories I held within my hands!  I want to share some pictures of her Bible with you. 

Here it is, and you can see that my mother was a faithful reader of the Word, because it is well worn.
Many years ago, my parents asked each of us children what we wanted of their things when they were gone.  Carl got to choose first, being the oldest, then me, then my sister.  These requests were then put in their will.  My first choice was Mom's Bible.  You can see that she then wrote that in one of the front pages.

I don't know how many times Mom had this Bible recovered - far too many for me to keep track of.  In those days, when the cover fell off, you didn't just go out and buy another Bible.  The one you had was far too valuable to you to do that.  She would take it to the Christian Supply store in Hutchinson, KS, about 30 miles south of where they lived in Little River.  I don't think they recovered them there, but probably sent it off.  She always got a nice leather cover.  In this picture, you can see after the last time it began to fall apart, she just took it upon herself to fix it.
Tucked within the pages, I found this article.  Click on the picture to read this beautiful poem.
As Mom read her Bible she unlined, and oh, boy, did she underline!  I don't think there is a page in the whole Bible that doesn't have some underlining or a note she jotted down.  The other thing she did on a regular basis was to write the date, passage, and preacher's name beside the passage from which that sermon was preached.  There are lots and lots of pastors and evangelists names on these pages!!
I had to turn to this page, because I knew it would be highlighted.  This was Mom's all time favorite verse in the Bible - Romans 8:28.  I think it was the 2nd verse I memorized, right after John 3:16.
Just another picture of one of the well-worn pages she patched with tape.
Here at the bottom of the last page of Revelation, you can see how many times she read her Bible completely through and the dates.

In the back of her Bible were several fly leaves - more than the usual Bible, because every time they recovered it, they would add more pages.  She often took notes from the sermons on these pages. You can see she and Dad believed in tithing.  (Me, too)  They always said (and I say it, too) that 9 tenths goes farther than 10 tenths.  I cannot explain that, except to say that it just works that way when you pay your tithe faithfully.

Here you can see that she recorded when her parents passed away.  I believe her parents were older when Mom was born.  As I do the math here, I think her mom was 40 when my mom was born.  So I was fairly young when they died - 8 when Grandma Carter died, and 10 when PopPa, as we called him, died.
I particularly like this little poem: Now I get me up to wake; I pray the Lord my soul to shake, but if the devil comes about, I pray the Lord to knock him out, until the victory I can shout.  (Rev. Brannon)
"Worry is like a rocking chair.  It gives you something to do, but gets you no where."  (Rev Lester Unruh, 1/26/64)  Rev. Unruh was our pastor in the Nazarene church in Lyons, KS, the church where I grew up.  I remember him so well, because he was there during my junior high school years and would some times officiate our girls' basketball games. 

I had to chuckle when I read this one!  :)
Here is her Romans 8:28 again, and she recorded at least two of the names who preached from that passage - Chuck Millhuff  - a dear and favorite evangelist friend of our whole family, and Bro. Pollard, whose daughter I'm friends with today on Facebook.
Here are some notes from Rev. Glen Dayton, dated 1966.  This was our pastor in Lyons while I was in high school and college and after Guy and I married.  I lived with them for a short time when Guy went to Viet Nam.  Guy and I were living out in the country on the farm when he was drafted into the Army.  After he left for Viet Nam, I was working 3-11 at the Lyons hospital, and the Daytons said it was just too dangerous for me to be going home late at night, down a long dark driveway, to an empty dark house, and insisted that I stay with them - dear caring people, they were!  Today, I'm friends on FB with their children. 
I just thought this was a cute saying Mom picked up in one of the revivals along the way.  :)
Tucked among the pages of her Bible were also a few pieces of paper that were meaningful to her.
After I graduated from college, Dad sold the grocery store in Little River and went into selling insurance full time. He won many awards for his sales. 
He won many trips for his sales also - twice to Hawaii and many times to Cancun.
Also tucked among the pages was a drawing from our son, Mark, when he was in grade school.  This was Charlie Brown, a beagle we had that got run over by the school bus one morning after stopping to pick up Mark.  As a child, Mark would often sit in church and draw pictures.  His favorite thing to draw was 18-wheelers. (And he was very good at it!)
Through the years, I've purchased many Bibles, trying to find just the right translation - study Bibles, parallel Bibles, the newest translation, etc.  I'm kind of disappointed that I don't have one-well-worn-Bible of my own to pass on to my children, because I will always cherish my Mom's Bible.